Before & After: A Dated 1960s Home Got a Bright, Nancy Meyers Movie-Inspired Makeover


Before & After: A Dated 1960s Home Got a Bright, Nancy Meyers Movie-Inspired Makeover

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Name: Gwendy and Vinny, the puppy
Designer: Ethan C. Greenfeld of Ethan Charles Design
Location: Encino, California
Size: 2200 square feet
Years Lived In: 7 years, owned

The house is a ’60s ranch style that had some unique ’60s features, including a sunken living room, Spanish tiles, planked vaulted ceilings with no overhead lighting, an oddly positioned two-panel cook top, and a paver stone fireplace with no mantel. We drew our inspiration from Diane Keaton’s house in “Something’s Gotta Give” and the patchwork slip covers one of my client’s dear friends made for her dining chairs.

The goal for the spaces was to create a casual, yet formal, environment that wasn’t too uptight and remained warm and inviting to anyone entering the home. My client loves to entertain, and at any given party there is usually 30+ people, and she loves to cook and bake. Believe it or not, when she has these events at her home, she cooks everything herself! So, when it came time to do the kitchen, we had to take into account how much she entertains and cooks. She had a credenza in the kitchen that she used as a buffet when she had parties. At the last party she had before we started demoing the kitchen all her friends were concerned about where she’d put the food if that credenza was gone! So, of course, we didn’t want to upset her friends; therefore, we extended the kitchen out to give her a built-in buffet for her parties, and added a Kitchen Aid lift into one of the cabinets to make it easier for her to pull it out and use. What we created at the completion of this project was giving my client her dream home.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

The Client’s Style: Casual and Eclectic

Inspiration: The feel of Diane Keaton’s house in “Something’s Gotta Give,” and some custom patchwork dining chair slip covers a good friend of my clients had made her some years ago.

Favorite Element: My favorite thing about this design… Well, it’s so difficult to choose just one thing, but if I had to I would say it’d have to be the chairside tables. They are such a small item in the room, and were originally intended to go next to the sofa, but the scale for the sofa was off. However, when we opened them, we instantly fell in love with the color and texture. So, we found a way to make them work by nixing the tables for the sofa and making them chairside tables instead. They are small, but they add such a huge amount of warmth and texture to the living room.

Biggest Challenge: Probably the biggest challenge we faced was the off-center fireplace. It is extremely justified to the left, but is centered on the large window behind the sofa. However, it is not centered to the rest of the space. We juggled multiple ideas like making the TV off center, floating shelves, benches, cabinets, etc. None of that seemed to give us what we needed or wanted… So, we agreed to just hold off momentarily to decide what would work best. It turns out that after the full design was done the wall didn’t seem so empty anymore. When we finally got around to the final install we realized that even though it was a large empty space, it was important to have some negative space in the room so that it didn’t feel crowded.

Proudest DIY: My client actually sourced the giraffe art, and sent me a picture of it. We both emailed back and said “are we crazy to be totally in love with this?” So, she instantly purchased it and it landed itself as the best complement to the all-white kitchen and a perfect representation of the fun whimsical personality of the spaces and my client.

Biggest Indulgence: Kitchen appliances and drapery. Kitchen appliances just have a way of making a kitchen feel beautiful and complete. Also, my client loves to entertain, and does so with large parties. So, great appliances were a must and ones that would be very functional for her and her lifestyle. The second major splurge were the custom drapes. Window treatments are just the low-key hero of a space. They have a way of adding so much to the design and overall vibe of the room. Custom window treatments are pricey, but well worth the cost. In addition, these served just as much for functionality as aesthetics.



  • Sherwin Williams — Pure White 7005


  • Artwork — Anthropologie
  • Light Fixture — Maxim Lighting


  • Sofa, chairs, and ottoman — Custom
  • Sofa fabric — Revolution Performance Fabric
  • Chairside Tables — Serena and Lily
  • Tassel Accent Pillows — Serena and Lily
  • Initial Pillow — Serena and Lily
  • Drapery — Custom
  • Artwork — Anthropologie
  • Bar Cart — Orren Ellis
  • Baskets and tray — Magnolia Home


  • All items client owned and chairs recovered
  • Appliances — JennAir

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